IFA 2013

IFA 2013 Wrap-Up

IFA 2013 Wrap-Up

IFA 2013 has come and gone, and with the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch, various super-sized (and often curved) TVs, and a number of superlative-toting smartphones, there was no shortage of geek appeal. As ever, the Berlin tech show saw a few key themes surface, and while not everybody is necessarily ready to snap a cellphone companion to their wrist, that didn't stop manufacturers from trying to push everything from wearables to Ultra HD. Read on, then, as we run through the best of IFA.

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Garmin HUD hands-on: A head-up display for the freeway fighter pilot

Garmin HUD hands-on: A head-up display for the freeway fighter pilot

Fighter pilots and Google Glass owners: Garmin is channeling a little of both with its latest navigation accessory, the Garmin HUD, and we took some time to peer through the head-up display while at IFA 2013. The Bluetooth peripheral is designed to sit on your dashboard and project simple guidance and directions to drivers using Garmin's StreetPilot or NAVIGON apps, without forcing them to look away from the windshield or - worse still - down to a phone shoved precariously into a spare cup holder.

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Ricoh Theta hands-on: 360 panoramas in a single shot

Ricoh Theta hands-on: 360 panoramas in a single shot

Just about any modern smartphone can shoot a panoramic photo these days, and some even a 360-degree photo, but it's a time-consuming process; Ricoh wants to change all that with the Theta, capable of capturing a full spherical image in a single snap. Rather than the ponderous snap-and-stitch that builds up a 360 shot from individual frames, the Theta pairs two 5-megapixel sensors on either side of a slim bar that can collectively grab all the data simultaneously. We grabbed some hands-on time at IFA 2013; read on for our first impressions.

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Qualcomm’s wireless bulb wants to outshine hue with WiFi

Qualcomm’s wireless bulb wants to outshine hue with WiFi

Roll on the smart home: Qualcomm has an eye on being the glue that sticks wireless home automation together, and it's demonstrating that with some proof-of-concept remote control lightbulbs. Thanks to a tiny new Qualcomm Atheros chipset, the demo light hooks up via WiFi to a simple Android app which allows for remote on/off control, dimming, and even timed shutoff. It's an obvious stab at alternative lighting systems like Philips' hue, but Qualcomm won't be content with just the lamp market.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear is first of a smartwatch family

Samsung Galaxy Gear is first of a smartwatch family

Samsung intends the Galaxy Gear to be the first of a family of smartwatches, with the company aiming to release a range of models much as it has broadened its Galaxy smartphone line to cover multiple price points and sizes. The reception to the Galaxy Gear, announced at Samsung's pre-IFA Unpacked showcase earlier this week, has been mixed, with many questioning the premium pricing of the smartwatch - around $299.99 at launch - along with the actual value the wearable delivers. According to Samsung, however, there's not only a market for the Galaxy Gear among owners of big-screen phones like the Galaxy Note 3, but for a number of companion devices.

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Alcatel One Touch Hero hands-on

Alcatel One Touch Hero hands-on

With the smartphone with what's undoubtedly the most home-baked accessories to be shown off at once here at IFA 2013, the Alcatel One Tough Hero is certainly a smartphone to behold. What we're witnessing here is a device that's interesting in and of itself with a 6-inch display running at Full HD - 1920 x 1080 - over an unnamed quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM with 16GB of internal memory OR 8GB of internal memory. This device may or may not be launching later this year with a variety of add-on bits and pieces as well.

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Acer Iconia A3 hands-on: budget hunting on a 10.1-inch tablet

Acer Iconia A3 hands-on: budget hunting on a 10.1-inch tablet

In the Acer Iconia A3 sits a combination of specifications that make for a rather solid 10.1-inch tablet for basic entertainment. It's not the biggest and the best, but it's certainly not sitting on the low end - this is Acer's newest venture into the tablet universe, complete with their own software suite sitting on top of Android 4.2. Up front you've got a 10.1-inch IPS LCD with LED backlighting and a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution.

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